What to Do After a Mining Accident in West Virginia?
Whenever a mining accident in West Virginia occurs, it’s a serious and tragic event that needs to be appropriately dealt with. Unfortunately, despite the prevalence of mining accidents, not many miners know what to do in the event of an accident. While the first step should always be to contact a West Virginia personal injury lawyer, not many people know what to do beyond that. In the event of a mining accident in West Virginia though, there are a few steps that any involved parties can take to help make the process safer for everyone involved, and ensure that any lawsuits that result from the accident are resolved in a timely manner.
What Are Some Common Causes of Accidents?
Mining is historically a very dangerous occupation. There are plenty of statistics on the various diseases and illnesses that miners are regularly stricken with, but few people ever acknowledge the other physical risks that miners must overcome. Mining accidents can result from a variety of distinct factors, including co-worker negligence, defective machinery, inadequate training, explosions, and electrocutions.
Unfortunately, despite the prevalence of these issues, few miners are willing to speak out against their fellow co-workers or their employers. Typically, they’d prefer to remain silent over the fear of losing their job. In recent years though, there have been many laws and regulations put in place to protect workers from being punished for whistle-blowing. If you or someone you know is being mistreated at their work, then the government has special protections in place to ensure that you cannot be financially punished for reporting on them. While this is true of any occupation, it is especially relevant to miners, given how frequently their lives are put at risk by improper management.
Even if someone refuses to report on their employer out of a misguided sense of loyalty, there are also financial concerns to consider. With the rising costs in healthcare, it’s never been more expensive to deal with a life-threatening illness in the United States without proper insurance coverage. If a miner needs help paying their medical bills, then odds are good that they’ll eventually need to speak up about their employer’s negligence. The key to financial stability is to speak up sooner rather than later though. While seeking out a West Virginia personal injury lawyer can help offset medical costs, they can only do so much without a vocal community of miners who are willing to address workplace issues head-on.
What To Do After An Accident
After an accident, the first step that should be on everyone’s minds is to immediately seek medical attention. There are far too many illnesses associated with mining accidents to leave anything up to chance. Even if you’re convinced that you weren’t physically hurt, it’s still worth it to see a doctor and make sure that you didn’t unknowingly inhale anything that will cause future damage to your body. Given the prevalence of lung cancer in miners, there’s no reason to further increase that risk by ignoring medical attention after a potentially dangerous accident.
After seeking medical attention, it’s a good idea to speak with your supervisor and let them know what occurred. It’s at this stage that you also want to be conscious of the steps your employer has taken immediately following the accident. Recording and observing events as they unfold should be your primary concern. Of course, no one will be as helpful to your cause as an experienced personal injury lawyer. Since workplace accidents typically involve the business owner and the insurance companies trying to minimize their liability as much as possible, it will be your job, as well as your lawyers, to make compelling arguments on your behalf. If you want to ensure that you and your family are financially stable in the event of an accident, then you’ll need an effective lawyer that can fight for you through each step of the claims process.
Workers compensation is a complex process in and of itself, regardless of whether it resulted from a simple slip and fall accident on a store property, or because of a chain of explosions in a mine. Regardless of how the damage came about, the process for claiming workers compensation is largely the same and revolves around placing liability on the employer or workplace environment. This is also why recording and observing workplace policies is so important in the time period immediately following an accident. Depending on how your employer reacts to the accident, you may have other claims that you can use in court, either as separate claims or as evidence to further bolster your existing ones.
Contact a Lawyer
When you initially speak to a lawyer, you can discuss various things to keep an eye out for, as well as the situation as it currently exists. Your lawyer can then provide insight into any rules or regulations that your employer may have already broken, as well as the steps you can legally take in case this occurred.
Speaking to a lawyer can also have other benefits outside of telling you what to look out for. Since lawyers have a professional understanding of the intricacies of workers compensation, they can also use their own knowledge to seek out inconsistencies. By highlighting these inconsistencies in court, they can earn their client’s a significantly larger amount of money than would have otherwise been owed.
What to Expect from a Lawsuit
Since every lawsuit is different, it can be difficult to outline exactly how a lawsuit against a mining company will turn out. Some of the most famous cases have ended up awarding the miners and their families multi-million dollar settlements though. These types of lawsuits were typically the result of miners being killed or maimed during their work, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other serious cases where mining companies have been found liable for other damages.
Unfortunately for miners, it’s no secret that mining companies typically value output and productivity over worker safety. Even as more laws and regulations are put in place to keep miners safe, mining companies find new ways to skirt the limitations and keep things just as dangerous as before. It’s for this reason that we still regularly see news stories of miners being injured or worse while on the job. Despite this, there is some hope though.
With the efforts of dedicated personal injury lawyers, and the miners that aren’t afraid to speak up in defense of their co-workers, there has been plenty of progress in making sure that miners and their families get the money they deserve from mining companies. If you’re concerned that you or someone you know is being taken advantage of by their employer, or has been unfairly silenced after an accident, then it might be worth a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
Since personal injury lawyers are accustomed to consulting with potential clients, there’s no risk in contacting one today and seeing what insight they can offer. Mining accidents shouldn’t put a worker’s family in financial jeopardy. Even if the insurance companies try to fight their liability and minimize payouts, it doesn’t mean you should just give up and accept it. Speak to a dedicated and committed personal injury lawyer today, so that you can get what your owed and ensure that other miners are treated more fairly in the future. Mining accidents may occur frequently, but that just means workers deserve more frequent payouts from their employers and insurance companies.
Contact the Law Office of Freeman & Chiartas today, for further questions and concerns on Mining accidents case.